• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

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Thursday, 17 September 2015

12 South African Events You Should Attend This Spring

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Spring has sprung, the grass is riz. I wonder where the boidies is. The boids is on the wing! Don’t be absoid! Da wings is on the boid!

In case you hadn’t noticed, the country has come to life – trees are in leaf, flowers are in bloom, the birds are a nest-making, people are furiously spring cleaning and decorating, and the temperatures (unless you live in Cape Town) are soaring into the upper twenties.

As if to mirror this burning urge to experience life to the full, and to get out of doors to appreciate the change in season, there are plenty of events around the country. Every one of these South African events is worth a visit… Continued

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

National Parks Week – Visit a Park For Free Tomorrow or Friday

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There are only two days left to take advantage of National Parks Week.

This annual celebration of spring allows South Africans FREE access to most of the 21 national parks across the country, from this Monday to Friday, the 18 or Saturday, 19 September 2015, depending on the park.

This is the tenth year that SANParks has held this week as a way to encourage locals to connect with their culture and heritage (September is also heritage month). Continued

Monday, 14 September 2015

Where To See The Cape Parrot – Africa’s Most Endangered Parrot

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Cape parrots are disappearing at a rapid rate.

Endemic to South Africa, the Cape parrot, or Poicephalus robustus, lives in the Afromontane yellowwood forests found mainly in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal.

Over the last 50-100 years the population has decreased dramatically. They are considered critically endangered. Only 1600 remain in the wild.

In other words, you have more chance of sighting a white rhino, in South Africa, than you do a Cape parrot.

The Cape parrot is a large bird, roughly 34 cm in height, with an average weight of 260-330g. Their head and neck colours are bright gold mixed with dark brown, their backs and wings are dark green, their rumps and underparts bright green, sometimes with a hint of blue. The females sport an orange-red blaze across the crowns of their heads… Continued

Thursday, 10 September 2015

The Durban Experience – 10 Must-Do’s In Durbs-By-The-Sea

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South Africa’s third-largest city, Durban, is also arguably the country’s most laidback centre (although Port Elizabeth gives it a run for its money), by virtue of its sauna-like summer heat, and beach-centred culture (if slops and shorts are your idea of attire, then you’re in the right place).

Yet the city is not all about its beaches, Golden Mile, Moses Mabhida Stadium, and uShaka Marine World.

Although these are a drawcard in their own right Durban moves to the drumbeat of its cultural heritage, involving visitors in tours that venture into the heart of the inner-city and two of Durban’s Indian townships, Phoenix and Chatsworth, in a whirl of African colour and noise.

The city of many street-name-changes is full of surprisingly diverse tourist attractions. Our list of 10 must-do’s is a good place to start. Continued

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in Limpopo

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Named after the river that runs through it Limpopo is the country’s most northern province, often overlooked by visitors who head, instead, to the country’s more exciting provinces like the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

But if you consider that seven of the country’s eleven languages are spoken in Limpopo; that the area has some of the most well established nature and game reserves with a rich stock of wildlife, as well as some of the most breathtaking mountainous scenery – and that’s excluding the Kruger National Park, which functions as the country’s main attraction – then the province has more to offer the visitor than meets the eye.

When next in Limpopo, visit all of the Top Ten Natural Attractions in LimpopoContinued

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in the North West Province

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Whether it is renamed Bokone Bophirima or not will do little to change the muddied perception amongst travellers that North West has little more to offer than Sun City and the Pilanesberg Nature Reserve.

Also known as the platinum province, for its production of 94% of the country’s plantinum, this lesser known part of South Africa lies north-west of Johannesburg where it nudges up against Botswana and the Kalahari.

Jostling with Gauteng for claim to the Cradle of Humankind, North West is fundamentally a bushveld playground – great swathes of grassland dominated by nature reserve upon game reserve with little to interrupt the expanse than the Magaliesberg mountains, one hundred times older than the Himalayas. These straddle the province’s eastern flank and function as a bolt-hole for Jo’burgers.

Small wonder then that the top 10 natural attractions in the North West Province are dominated by nature reserves… Continued

Friday, 28 August 2015

Top 4 Snorkelling Spots On Durbans Coast

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The best thing about Durban is its warm seas. Durban’s ‘all year round summer’ translates into sea temperatures, even in winter, that hover around 20 degrees Celsius.

Even Durban’s summer sea temperatures are more akin to a bath than the sea, and you can spend hours in the water without feeling the cold.

If this weren’t enough of an invitation (bearing in mind that you may need to live in the sea between January and March as the city’s humidity can get unbearable), the clarity of the water and the phenomenal sea life also make Durban the perfect place to snorkel, particularly along the north coast (Ballito, Salt Rock and Sheffield areas).

Here are 4 of the best snorkeling spots on Durbans Coast… Continued

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Durban’s Ancient Forest – Not Even The Locals Know About It

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Jocelyn Sutherland’s hands are full of litter when she meets us at the gate to Hawaan Forest. She’s incensed by the dumping of bougainvillea on the edge of the forest’s perimeter fence, and by the litter. ‘Hardly any one local knows about this magnificent forest, ‘ she shares by way of greeting, ‘it is visitors to Durban who want to know more about it, not the locals.’

We’ve met just off the M4 at Umhlanga, one of Durban’s more privileged neighbourhoods on the north coast. The M4 divides the green forest belt in two, yet there couldn’t be two more divergent forests.

Across the M4 the forest rests on a 2 000 year-old sand dune. Sounds old enough but Hawaan, by contrast, stands sturdy on a sand dune that is 18 000 years old. It’s mind-boggling to think that something that old still exists… Continued

Monday, 24 August 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in Gauteng

posted to: Attractions, Gauteng
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Completely landlocked Gauteng may be the smallest of all the provinces, but it delivers a hefty punch of vibrant city life in the form of its dominant city, Johannesburg – the country’s economic powerhouse – and its quieter country cousin, the jacaranda-lined streets of the administrative capital of South Africa, Pretoria.

The ‘place of gold’ in the north-east of the country may not have any sea or major river about which to boast, but it is uniquely placed for easy weekend escapes into North West, Limpopo and the Free State provinces. And although small, it has at its heart enough of its own natural attractions to keep visitors content to remain within its borders.

Visit these 10 top natural attractions in Gauteng… Continued

Friday, 21 August 2015

5 Reasons To Visit Durban’s Beachwood Mangroves (If You Can Wangle A Visit)

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A visit to Durban’s Beachwood Mangroves is not as simple as driving up to the gate and taking a saunter along one of two boardwalk trails through the mangroves, as and when it suits you.

Durban has closed ranks and protects this National Monument, one of three last remaining bits of mangrove swamp in and around Durban (the other two are the Isipingo Mangroves and the Bayhead Mangroves), rather fiercely.

You will need to join the regular tours, either on the evening of every first Thursday or the third Saturday morning of every month, by the Honorary Officers of KZN Wildlife – who volunteer their time to take visitors through this green space.

A truly worthwhile experience, the Honorary Officers share a wealth of knowledge about the critters, crabs, birds and trees that collectively make up this wholly unique ecosystem. Continued

Thursday, 20 August 2015

One place you’ve got to visit when in Durban is People’s Park

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I used to live in Durban. That was long before it became a tourist attraction and all the road names changed. Back then, on weekends, you’d go to the beach.

Occasional highlights were Mini Town, or the rides at the Amusement Park on the beachfront (the red chairs on the cablecar are still there, though; I checked). Sometimes you’d head out to Midmar Dam for the day. Durban was a low-key kind of place.

But now Durban is a heady mix of old and new, and a tourist mecca of note (I totally get why CNN listed the city as one of the world’s 10 most underrated cities)… Continued

Monday, 17 August 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in Northern Cape

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The Northern Cape is easily described in terms of remoteness. Both vast and under populated, by comparison with anywhere else in the country, it annexes 373 000 sq km – most of it the far-flung, empty spaces of the hinterland defined by relentless heat and desert sand dunes; the landscape knobbly with quiver and Halfmens trees.

Yet this aridness also relinquishes some of nature’s most generous treasures – the richly green wine-producing banks of the Gariep Dam, the legendary Augrabies Falls, dunes teeming with wild life, and spring flowers that oblige a desert mutation from a barren terrain into a latticework of blooms.

To  help you navigate, here are the Top Ten Natural Attractions in Northern Cape… Continued

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Top Ten Natural Attractions in Eastern Cape

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Perhaps the reason the Eastern Cape has something of a Cinderella complex is because it lies wedged between two of South Africa’s most popular destinations – the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal. Certainly it receives less attention than the Western Cape, yet is more diverse and harbours some of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the country.

It begins where the Garden Route stops, 1 000 km of largely undeveloped coastline (if you overlook Port Elizabeth and East London) with beaches warmed by the Indian Ocean’s waters, its north-eastern corner dominated by the Drakensberg Mountain range and its eastern quarters awash with rural Xhosa villages.

It has one of the country’s best loved national parks, is malaria-free, and is Nelson Mandela’s birth place. For visitors it is a playground of outdoor activities and compelling natural attractions. Continued

Friday, 7 August 2015

South Africas 3 Endangered Cranes – Where To See Them

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South Africa is home to three species of crane – the blue crane, grey crowned crane and the wattled crane.

In case you were wondering they’re the tall, willowy birds that you sometimes see in pairs, or flocks, in open grassland or on farms. They appear almost regal. I often see blue cranes in the Overberg where they are now fiercely protected, and encouraged on farms.

When they’re not mating, cranes tend to gather communally in wetlands and shallow dams.

Blue cranes are the most numerous of the three endangered cranes, however they’re also largely limited to South Africa – 99% of them occur only here (bar the 60 or so around the Etosha Pans of Namibia) – whereas wattled cranes, and grey crowned cranes, live across southern-central Africa. Continued

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

If There’s One Thing You Do In Durban – The 9 Markets of Warwick Tour

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Everyone knows the Victoria Street Market in Durban’s inner-city. Its vibrantly painted building looks more like the palace of a Maharajah than a market. It lies on the edge of Bertha Mkhize Street (formerly Victoria Street); the site of a market since 1910.

Victoria Market is a predominantly Indian spice and flea market fused with north African curios, art and jewellery, fresh fish, Chinese wholesale goods and everything and anything in-between. It is a ‘safe’ option for tourists overwhelmed by the noise and inner-city turbulence that happens just outside the building, on one of Durban’s busiest street corners – Warwick Junction.

Some 460 000 commuters pass through Warwick Junction on any given day. There are 23 taxi ranks, 19 bus terminals and two major train stations in the near vicinity. It’s no wonder the average tourist’s eyes widen at the thought of venturing beyond the relative safety of the Victoria Market.

But the Markets of Warwick tour does just that… ] Continued